By Dr. Bob Baugher
Where were you on Feb. 4, 1975? Were you not yet born? I was preparing to leave my home to teach a course in general psychology at Fort Lewis Army base when my phone rang. It was my mother screaming, “Your father’s in the hospital! He’s dying!”
Shocked, I jumped in my car. I arrived at Harborview hospital to see my four younger brothers and sisters and my mother, wide-eyed, sitting in the emergency room. I discovered that my 52-year-old father suffered a stroke and would likely not survive. By 2 a.m. he had stabilized enough for us to go home. With tears in her eyes, my mother asked me to see about setting up a funeral for my father.
There I was the next day driving to a funeral home in West Seattle saying to myself, “I have a master’s degree in psychology. I’m supposed to know something about human behavior, but I haven’t a clue about death, grief or loss, let alone funeral plans.” Looking back on that day, I had no idea it would set me on a path that defined my career. My father surprised everyone by coming out of a month-long coma, learning to walk again and living another 28 years. …